"Alaska Ice Dragon": Ice Rink Resurfacer

Routine Resurfacing

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The idea on this particular day was not to repair major surface damage. The idea was to see how long it would take for a routine resurfacing and how much propane would be required. The rink is about 150 feet (45 m) long and 65 feet (20 m) wide for an area, after accounting for the rounded corners, of about 9000 ft2 (830 m2). The resurfacer is pulled behind the user so he always walks on rough ice. We find that it works best to start with a stripe down the center of the rink and then spiral out to the boards.

It takes about 100 gallons (380 liters) of hot water to resurface a rink of this size. That much water weighs 830 pounds (375 kg) and requires a motor vehicle to carry or tow the tank. The only other option for this rink (until now) requires stringing out 200 feet (70m) of hose from the school building.

Recent versions of our resurfacer will turn 10,000 ft2 (930 m2) of ice into a sheet of glass in an hour using 2 gallons (8 liters) of propane down to -25 F (-30 C). For reference, a standard barbeque tank full of propane weighs 37 pounds (17 kg).